Inside, Limbo game follow-up, music by SØS Gunver Ryberg

For lovers of shadows, dark dimensions spent wandering other states of being, and unrelenting rhythms, Danish composer/musician SØS Gunver Ryberg produces wonderlands. And that makes her music a perfect match for the game weavers of Playdead. Their follow-up to spine-chillingly creepy-good Limbo is this summer’s Inside. It does what’s so hard to do for this kind of title: it loses none of the elegance of the minimal original, while expanding in scope and maturity. And then there’s that score / sound design, made in collaboration with game maker Martin Stig Andersen.

You wouldn’t want to spoil the game, but you’ll get a taste of that in the trailers.

Working with Andersen, the composer of the equally brilliant score for Limbo (worth re-listening on its own, I found), she produced something really unique for the follow-up. As she tells Stray Landings:

You work in a team, it’s a non-linear composition, with many technical limitations. I worked together with composer and sound designer Martin Stig Andersen who created audio for their previous game ‘LIMBO’. He knows my work and I got more and more involved with ‘INSIDE’. He functioned as the audio director and throughout the three years I was working on the project, I had freedom to experiment and create. The expression of the game is very minimalistic and detailed as you can hear from the trailer.

Well worth reading that full interview:
CARBON FOOTPRINTSSØS GUNVER RYBERG [Stray Landings]

More games are coming, too, as that article reveals – the upcoming THOTH sound design and music are credited to SGR^CAV, the collaboration between her and Cristian Vogel. I can’t wait to play through each to completion, personally. This isn’t about being a gamer; missing out would be missing out on a form of culture.

INSIDE_01

This sort of context could be the ideal vessel for this kind of music. There’s only so many festival and concert dates you can do, only so much of the planet’s population you can reach in abandoned power plants in cosmopolitan cultural capitals. But games can go anywhere there’s a computer and game system. And the immersion of a game – complete with the adrenaline rush of feeling ones own place in the nightmare – is perhaps an ideal form of self entrancement for the music.

And comparing game scoring to cinema scoring, I have to say the more primitive world of the game has really evolved. Game scores are now creating drama and tension in a way that no film ever could – because they can produce something interactive, something unpredictable.

INSIDE_07

SØS Gunver Ryberg in action. Photo: Martin Stig Andersen, at Berlin's Atonal.

SØS Gunver Ryberg in action. Photo: Martin Stig Andersen, at Berlin’s Atonal.

Don’t miss her Boiler Room, which was one of my favorites ever. (Also, as if the music hadn’t won me over – that sweater, in the hot basement of Stattbad Wedding – wow.)


SØS Gunver Ryberg Boiler Room Berlin Live Set von brtvofficial

Her EP this year out on Contort (the label run by Samuel Kerridge, originator of the event series of the same name) is one of my favorites:

Holly Dicker has written an extensive interview with her for Resident Advisor:
Breaking Through: SØS Gunver Ryberg

Hope to follow up with her – and this incredible game scene – soon.

The game is out now for Windows and Xbox; PS4 on the 22nd of August.

The post Inside, Limbo game follow-up, music by SØS Gunver Ryberg appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Hear this Now: Shapednoise Does a Doom Mix And People are Listening

shapednoise

In the overabundant parade of mixes, you might easily grow weary of the sound-alike monotony of predictably-popular hits inserted back to back in a party-friendly groove.

This is not that.

The latest from Shapednoise is a mix for FACT that follows in a mold only in that it’s as violently depressing as you’d expect if you’d been following this artist. You know, depressing in a … stimulating way.

Shapednoise begins by dropping you out an airlock for a zero-gravity dance of archaic tribal rituals. And from there, things more or less descend into an angry, room-clearing procession of reverbs and distortion. This is the sound of alien machinery screaming a siren song as it dies, then finally entering a dizzying forward rhythm.

Now’s a reasonable time to be talking about Shapednoise, as the artist is starting 2015 on a roll. There was last year’s beautiful, terrifying record on Opal Tapes. CTM Festival has been championing his work in bookings outside of Berlin, and collaboration – with Mumdance and Logos, soon to be redubbed The Sprawl – was a real highlight for me. And on top of it, there’s his work on the label Repitch.

The next stop is Sonic Acts, in Amsterdam. The embarrassment of riches in Europe now – austerity be damned – is such that this isn’t even the only festival in Holland to watch. But nonetheless, you get yet another out-there gathering of sound and visuals from Emptyset to Shackleton to Florian Hecker, this time at Paradiso and the bathtub-of-art Stedelijk Museum. And I expect the Shapednoise collaboration with visualist sYn could be a highlight.

Metaphysical from Shapednoise on Vimeo.

The reason I make the mix the centerpiece is here is, this is the critical mass of stuff that has formed the planetoid of this music, and this mix is a pretty good guide, especially once you start Googling around the alien noises you’re hearing if you haven’t already discovered some of them.

Tracklist:

Neel -­ Phobos (Spectrum Spools)
Squarepusher vs Keith Fullerton Whitman ­Interview
The Stranger ­- Kirkbymoorside (History Always Favours the Winners)
TCF -­ F8 5E BB 63 94 B5 17 BA 74 AC 11 EE 33 86 B2 7E 93 E0 E4 AA B4 CF 1F 64 (Liberation Technologies)
Logos ­- Glass (Shapednoise Remix) (Different Circles)
Gondwana -­ Binaural Beats (Forthcoming on Opal Tapes)
Elizabethan Collar – 04 (Aught)
Oake – ­Vorwort: Umiha Sien (Downwards)
Imaginary Forces ­- Council Flat (Beduin Records)
The Body ­- Hail To Thee, Everlasting Pain (Rvng Intl.)
Samuel Kerridge -­ Paint It Black Reprise (Blueprint)
Skam – Sandy (Avian)
Damian Dubrovnik ­- Blue Mussels (Alter)
Akkord ­- HTH020 (The Haxan Cloak’s Cloud of Witness Remix)
AnD -­ Relic Radiation (Electric Deluxe)
Grischa Lichtenberger ­- 1011_27_#5b (Raster Noton)
James Hoff -­ Erblast (PAN)
Chris Petit -­ Museum Of Loneliness / Flickers (Test Centre)
Lakker ­- Untitled (Unreleased)
Hecker – Chimärisation (Editions Mego)
Shit and Shine – Who’s Your Waitress (Diagonal)

Shapednoise, Mumdance and Logos present: The Sprawl at CTM Festival last week.

Shapednoise, Mumdance and Logos present: The Sprawl at CTM Festival last week.

I thoroughly enjoy, though, the way he’s picked the dirtiest and scariest of these and managed to grind them into something yet more distorted, taking a bloodied knife and then stomping on it until it shatters into bits.

I’ll point out a few names. Grischa Lichtenberger is a molten young contributor to Raster Noton, taking them beyond the sounds most associated with that label. Lakker are techno veterans from Ireland who have turned to the dark side, sonically, in a lovely way. Samuel Kerridge has been making his Contort parties a shrine to this sort of sound, apart from his own unique offerings to the dark lords of electronic composition. And these labels (from Electric Deluxe to Editions Mego to PAN to Rvng) have clustered together, young and old, into a galaxy of outlets for adventurous sound; they’ve made this a movement.

The fact that these sounds have entered something approaching the mainstream demonstrates just how immune to weird sounds we’ve become. Hipsters can now comment knowingly on the subtleties of different dark reverb tails and pedal-driven destruction, because there’s no doubt this is music.

This stuff used to scare people. Now, it’s a party. Oddly, some people are complaining about that. I think it’s bloody brilliant.

Because maybe from there, we’re really liberated to use a full spectrum of sounds – even the ones that come from broken gear. (Yes, fine, I’ll say it – that was Aphex Twin just winning a Grammy. I don’t care if you hate Syro; it’s still a sign of the times.)

But I’ll be listening to this one. You know, when I want some cheery happy music…

https://www.facebook.com/Shapednoise

Full disclosure: I’ll be playing on a bill with Shapednoise on the first of March, as a duo with Lower Order Ethics (Szilvia Lednitsky) which we’re calling Alchemic Harm. (That is one of those infamous Contort parties, presented with Tresor/Ohm and Atonal Festival.) It’s just sort of nice convenience when artists I want to cover (aforementioned Lakker, Grischa) just show up on the handful of gigs I play. It’s a pleasure to get to make some noises alongside these boys and girls and contribute to the general mayhem.

Here are some other Shapednoise tracks I think are worth lending your ears (you, erm, may not get them back, though):

The post Hear this Now: Shapednoise Does a Doom Mix And People are Listening appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Hear this Now: Shapednoise Does a Doom Mix And People are Listening

shapednoise

In the overabundant parade of mixes, you might easily grow weary of the sound-alike monotony of predictably-popular hits inserted back to back in a party-friendly groove.

This is not that.

The latest from Shapednoise is a mix for FACT that follows in a mold only in that it’s as violently depressing as you’d expect if you’d been following this artist. You know, depressing in a … stimulating way.

Shapednoise begins by dropping you out an airlock for a zero-gravity dance of archaic tribal rituals. And from there, things more or less descend into an angry, room-clearing procession of reverbs and distortion. This is the sound of alien machinery screaming a siren song as it dies, then finally entering a dizzying forward rhythm.

Now’s a reasonable time to be talking about Shapednoise, as the artist is starting 2015 on a roll. There was last year’s beautiful, terrifying record on Opal Tapes. CTM Festival has been championing his work in bookings outside of Berlin, and collaboration – with Mumdance and Logos, soon to be redubbed The Sprawl – was a real highlight for me. And on top of it, there’s his work on the label Repitch.

The next stop is Sonic Acts, in Amsterdam. The embarrassment of riches in Europe now – austerity be damned – is such that this isn’t even the only festival in Holland to watch. But nonetheless, you get yet another out-there gathering of sound and visuals from Emptyset to Shackleton to Florian Hecker, this time at Paradiso and the bathtub-of-art Stedelijk Museum. And I expect the Shapednoise collaboration with visualist sYn could be a highlight.

Metaphysical from Shapednoise on Vimeo.

The reason I make the mix the centerpiece is here is, this is the critical mass of stuff that has formed the planetoid of this music, and this mix is a pretty good guide, especially once you start Googling around the alien noises you’re hearing if you haven’t already discovered some of them.

Tracklist:

Neel -­ Phobos (Spectrum Spools)
Squarepusher vs Keith Fullerton Whitman ­Interview
The Stranger ­- Kirkbymoorside (History Always Favours the Winners)
TCF -­ F8 5E BB 63 94 B5 17 BA 74 AC 11 EE 33 86 B2 7E 93 E0 E4 AA B4 CF 1F 64 (Liberation Technologies)
Logos ­- Glass (Shapednoise Remix) (Different Circles)
Gondwana -­ Binaural Beats (Forthcoming on Opal Tapes)
Elizabethan Collar – 04 (Aught)
Oake – ­Vorwort: Umiha Sien (Downwards)
Imaginary Forces ­- Council Flat (Beduin Records)
The Body ­- Hail To Thee, Everlasting Pain (Rvng Intl.)
Samuel Kerridge -­ Paint It Black Reprise (Blueprint)
Skam – Sandy (Avian)
Damian Dubrovnik ­- Blue Mussels (Alter)
Akkord ­- HTH020 (The Haxan Cloak’s Cloud of Witness Remix)
AnD -­ Relic Radiation (Electric Deluxe)
Grischa Lichtenberger ­- 1011_27_#5b (Raster Noton)
James Hoff -­ Erblast (PAN)
Chris Petit -­ Museum Of Loneliness / Flickers (Test Centre)
Lakker ­- Untitled (Unreleased)
Hecker – Chimärisation (Editions Mego)
Shit and Shine – Who’s Your Waitress (Diagonal)

Shapednoise, Mumdance and Logos present: The Sprawl at CTM Festival last week.

Shapednoise, Mumdance and Logos present: The Sprawl at CTM Festival last week.

I thoroughly enjoy, though, the way he’s picked the dirtiest and scariest of these and managed to grind them into something yet more distorted, taking a bloodied knife and then stomping on it until it shatters into bits.

I’ll point out a few names. Grischa Lichtenberger is a molten young contributor to Raster Noton, taking them beyond the sounds most associated with that label. Lakker are techno veterans from Ireland who have turned to the dark side, sonically, in a lovely way. Samuel Kerridge has been making his Contort parties a shrine to this sort of sound, apart from his own unique offerings to the dark lords of electronic composition. And these labels (from Electric Deluxe to Editions Mego to PAN to Rvng) have clustered together, young and old, into a galaxy of outlets for adventurous sound; they’ve made this a movement.

The fact that these sounds have entered something approaching the mainstream demonstrates just how immune to weird sounds we’ve become. Hipsters can now comment knowingly on the subtleties of different dark reverb tails and pedal-driven destruction, because there’s no doubt this is music.

This stuff used to scare people. Now, it’s a party. Oddly, some people are complaining about that. I think it’s bloody brilliant.

Because maybe from there, we’re really liberated to use a full spectrum of sounds – even the ones that come from broken gear. (Yes, fine, I’ll say it – that was Aphex Twin just winning a Grammy. I don’t care if you hate Syro; it’s still a sign of the times.)

But I’ll be listening to this one. You know, when I want some cheery happy music…

https://www.facebook.com/Shapednoise

Full disclosure: I’ll be playing on a bill with Shapednoise on the first of March, as a duo with Lower Order Ethics (Szilvia Lednitsky) which we’re calling Alchemic Harm. (That is one of those infamous Contort parties, presented with Tresor/Ohm and Atonal Festival.) It’s just sort of nice convenience when artists I want to cover (aforementioned Lakker, Grischa) just show up on the handful of gigs I play. It’s a pleasure to get to make some noises alongside these boys and girls and contribute to the general mayhem.

Here are some other Shapednoise tracks I think are worth lending your ears (you, erm, may not get them back, though):

The post Hear this Now: Shapednoise Does a Doom Mix And People are Listening appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Dark Shadows: A Selection of Sounds and Images from Berlin’s Atonal

You know, a happy-go-lucky party venue for the summer. Um... Berlin style. Photos courtesy Berlin Atonal.

You know, a happy-go-lucky party venue for the summer. Um… Berlin style. Photos courtesy Berlin Atonal / Kraftwerk.

Only Berlin would go this dark, musically speaking, in second half of … July. Atonal Festival, an event founded in a very different city way back in 1982, has been resurrected. And the sounds set to echo through the concrete cavern of a former power station represent the cross-currents of an international scene of experimental music. No longer about what happens in Germany (the artists come from every corner of the globe), Atonal – like winter’s CTM Festival – represents an angle in electronic music that is growing in popularity but decidedly anti-commercial, adventurous without necessarily being overly cerebral. It’s hedonistically introspective.

The venue is Kraftwerk as in “Heizkraftwerk” – a power station, not the band singing about pocket calculators and the Tour de France. The space itself may really become the headliner, a post-industrial secular church, looking like the set piece for a B-grade 80s post-apocalypse movie.

Laidback and elusive, “Voices from The Lake” have a beautiful, if literal, music video for their self-titled debut, whose billowing grays read as an animated poster for all the music we have here.

Voices from the Lake – HGS from Yko on Vimeo.

Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald headline. Their fine collaboration as Borderland was already the subject of a CDM story; I think finally seeing this release is big news. It’ll be significant to see that play out live, and I hope to talk more about what they’ve put together. Have a listen:

Composer/musician Samuel Kerridge will lead another Contort night on Sunday as part of the festival. We continue to follow the Contort series as a tastemaker of twisted sounds, as the name implies – they’ve promised more music for CDM coming this fall. But ringleader Sam in the meantime continues to release some really far-out music, stuff that sounds like Delia Derbyshire struck up a collaboration with the Daleks themselves. (Rave on Skaro! Whoo!)

Previously, Sam among other electronic experimentalists:
Experimental Electronics Listening: Biosphere, Samuel Kerridge, Bill Kouligas + PAN

See also Contort cohort Lower Order Ethics, aka Szilvia Lednitzky (Budapest-born, yes, Berlin-based). Szilvia has a preview set of Berlin Atonal artists, for the excellent blog No Fear of Pop:

Listing:

Rouz – Deathlessness
German Shepherds – I Adore You
Christian Cosmos – The Angular Position of His Ghost
Vatican Shadow – The Hamburg Cell Was Born In Chechnya
Miles – Archaic Thought Pattern 1
Ed Chamberlain – Landmine
Pan Sonic – Vähentajä
Violetshaped – Out of Any Symmetry
Grungerman – Fackeln Im Sturm
Barker & Baumecker – Crows (Blawan remix)
Surgeon – Whose Bad Hands Are These (Autechre remix)
Bhutan Temple Music – Dungchen & Jaling
Powell – Grand Street
Edanticonf – Overture
Lucy & Silent Servant – Victors History
Ancient Methods – Castling Becomes Inevitable
Virile Games – Plague Saints II
Forward Strategy Group – Industry & Empire
Kreng – Wrak
Pete Lazonby – Sacred Cycles (Complete Edition)

For still more, here’s another mix. Szilvia warns us of “dodgy transitions” on a DJ set recorded live in the fall, but that sounds like an invitation to me. (Put a big “don’t press me” sign on a button, and … well, what are you going to do?) Plotting a course from Milton Bradley to Fennesz, Untold to Atonal-bound artist Vatican Shadow (more on him in a moment), this is a mix worth charting:

Lower Order Ethics @ CONTORT#4 // 112512 // Mindpirates by Lowerorderethics on Mixcloud

Vatican Shadow will also join the lineup, and is worth including in another mix here, polishing off a podcast for Electric Deluxe. Aka Dominick Fernow, the New York-based artist has released superb and arresting music on his Hospital Productions imprint – on cassettes, no less. At SONAR this year, he stomped around stage like a terrifying madman, rallying crowds to his beautifully-raunchy sounds. (I understand he has traded a pair of cassettes in his DJ rig for more-precise iPods, but there’s enough added distortion that it’s no matter.) And the mix is a nice prelude to his coming appearance:

OND – Track 8
Muslimgauze – Khan Younis
Funk Sta – The Groover
Function – Psychic Warfare
Leaether Strip – Leather Strip – Part I
Shifted – Leather
Suicide Commando – Hellraiser
Silent Servant – The Strange Attractor
James Ruskin – Dilemma
Surgeon – Set Two
Muslimgauze – Jerusalem Knife
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – Black Magic Originated in Nature

raster-noton is an imprint that seems to be made for festivals like this. As such, they can become almost expected or repetitive, a sure thing when you see festival lineups. Little wonder: artists like Kangding Ray reliably manufacture art music you can dance to, tickling the brain while keeping festivalgoers grooving. The real shame is that so few emerging artists have been able to follow in those footsteps. But I have to feature director Nicolas Lelièvre’s 2010 music video for “Or.” It’s simply beautiful and timeless, Jean-Baptiste André’s “gestures” becoming the perfect, half-frozen dance to the static quality of the music. And I have to admit, I’m no less eager to see Kangding Ray on a program.

Or from Nicolas Lelievre on Vimeo.

More recently:

For SA017 Kangding Ray brings an EP defined by dexterity: ‘Tempered Inmid’. It is a record which balances the deepest drum with the most celestial synth, weaving a legend of both menace and tenderness. Possessed of an underlying hiss, the title track surges to dampen its muscular beat with a fabric of warm melodies. The discerning ‘Dimen Andesso’ is the Tempered’s partner, shuffling with a considered high-end and off-kilter pads. On the flip KR ramps up the pace in introducing the mendacious thumps of ‘Nuis Octury’, which he twists into a fever. But emblematically KR once more tempers. Closer ‘Ezerb Altren’ conjures the image and emotion of an underground lake: depth, resonance, and total, glacial serenity.

SA017 was craftily mastered by Artefacts Mastering, Berlin.

Machine ideas can go beyond machines – once you’ve worked with a digital sequence on computer or hardware sequencer, you will see compositional construction in a different light. That’s doubly true nowadays, when that score is likely to sit on a computer screen. I was asked to give a talk last weekend at the University of Hamburg on post-digitality. I think a lot of works now go beyond the screen, beyond the computer box not because of an itch to get away from the digital, but because the line between computer and real world has blurred. Once you’ve looked into the Matrix, you can’t see anything quite the same way.

The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble is a perfect example of that, beautiful instrumental automatons making dance grooves out of acoustic instruments. (Tellingly, the results recall composer George Antheil’s pre-war compositions, before any of these machines – demonstrating the leap here happens in the mind, with or without the external technology to fit your imagination.) And incidentally, while this crew also do DJ sessions, this is the mode in which I vastly prefer their work:

Speaking of digital thinking outside of digital tools, we can talk about guitars. There is a lot you could say about legendary Pennsylvania-born improviser Glenn Branca. But I’m glad to see these sorts of musicians appear on “electronic” festivals, because they remind us that the electric guitar can easily rival the Theremin or synthesizer as the 20th Century’s greatest electronic instrument. Whatever limitations the design may have, superhuman feats of musicianship can make us with our computers look tame.

I’ll close with more images of the venue for you to gaze at whilst listening. Enjoy:

kraftwerk4

kraftwerk3

kraftwerk2

And a likely highlight, AV show on Saturday:

Murcof/ANTIVJ av preview, courtesy Berlin Atonal.

Murcof/ANTIVJ av preview, courtesy Berlin Atonal.

Mexican musician Fernando Corona has been a mainstay in electronica’s changing currents for the past decade, although many regard him as equally legendary in the contemporary classical music scene. His art borrows largely from the tenets of classical minimalism, elaborated with carefully detailed textures and sounds taken from his extensive catalogue of recordings.

For Berlin Atonal 2013 he will team up with renowned video/projection artist Simon Geilfus (AntiVJ) for a very special audio-visual experience

http://www.berlin-atonal.com/

More on the history, via Electronic Beats:
Key to the City: An interview with the organizers of Berlin Atonal (part 1)

The post Dark Shadows: A Selection of Sounds and Images from Berlin’s Atonal appeared first on Create Digital Music.